Amorphis
Queen of Time


3.0
good

Review

by Gameofmetal STAFF
May 22nd, 2018 | 163 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Energetic and grandiose Finnish melodeath marred by an absurdly slow start.

I’ve come to something resembling a revelation on my third or fourth listen to Queen of Time. The thirteenth full length outing from prolific Finnish melodic death metal outfit Amorphis has stumped me in a decidedly curious way. In fact, I would say it’s fooled me, more than once. It’s an album that comes off as dense and grandiose at first listen, yet the ways Amorphis approach songs leave me feeling as though they’re far more straightforward. Take “The Bee” for example. Opening tracks tend to end up being volatile and attention grabbing, some bands even tripping up and putting their best song right at the beginning only for listeners to inevitably be let down by the rest of the album. “The Bee” wants us to think it has a lot going on, but in reality it’s deceptively simple to the point of being uninteresting. Between odd glitzy electronics and galloping riffs that try to hide their run of the mill nature by synchronizing extravagantly with the orchestrations, it’s a track that hides simplicity behind an illusion of density. This illusion has made me question the complexity of Queen of Time completely. Hell, it’s made me question a lot of albums I’ve previously enjoyed and considered to be dense listens. Perhaps metal has become a genre full of musicians hiding basic songwriting and ideas by throwing so many of them at listeners until they don’t know left from right. I will continue to believe that it is not true of as many great artists as I fear, though in Amorphis’ case I’ve concluded there is indeed something of real interest hidden in the maelstrom of grandiose orchestrations and flamboyant heavy metal.

Like “The Bee”, “Message In The Amber” isn’t much of a rewarding song after first listen and so Queen of Time struggles to really kick into gear. “Daughter Of Hate” is the moment that I began to question my many concerns about the album, however. It’s both symbolic of my previous issues, and a composition that defies it. With close inspection the pieces aren’t terribly surprising, but unlike prior tracks “Daughter Of Hate” is startlingly better paced and spiced with fun instruments like saxophones and trumpets. The dynamics feel more distinguished here, and it quickly becomes apparent this will be the benchmark that the rest of the album is judged by. Largely, the rest Queen of Time holds up well next to this standard, but some tracks still end up boiling down to blurs of pompous hundred-mile-per-hour slabs of European metal. “Amongst Stars” stands out thanks to the nice male to female vocal dynamic between guest singer Anneke van Giersbergen and frontman Tomi Joutsen, while “Pyres On The Coast” is an effectively apocalyptic closer.

Queen of Time clearly picks up a lot of steam after the early lull. Admittedly, it’s a large lull to swallow since it amounts to about twelve straight minutes of boredom, but for the most part it manages to hold attention until the end. So now I can only wonder why I feel so much disquiet in the aftermath. There’s little obvious fault in the instrumentation beyond occasional passages that are too straightforward for their own good, and Tomi Joutsen is an effective singer, although his clean vocals sporadically lose their edge. Quite a bit of Queen of Time I would certainly chalk up as “good”, but it’s hard to rate it any higher. That nagging feeling that so much of it is a result of an “everything and the kitchen sink” approach has stolen much of its thunder. In retrospect, maybe I’m burned out. Maybe I’m just a jaded fool that’s not in the right place in my life to appreciate Queen of Time for what it is (God, I hope so), but there’s still plenty of energetic Finnish melodeath for genre fans to enjoy here.



Recent reviews by this author
Progenie Terrestre Pura starCrossSojourner The Shadowed Road
Hooded Menace Ossuarium Silhouettes UnhallowedCultes Des Ghoules Häxan
Morbid Angel Kingdoms DisdainedForteresse Thèmes pour la Rébellion
user ratings (211)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
Marinating the foundation....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2018


10293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey squad

alamo
May 21st 2018


40 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

is being straightforward such a horrible thing

Hawks
May 21st 2018


56419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn.

Digging: Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrome

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
May 22nd 2018


1305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Fair points, solid review. "Message in the Amber" is actually one of my favorite tracks on the album right now, but as I mentioned in the comments of my review, I can definitely see why this wouldn't quite be someone's cup of tea.



If there's anything I wish this album had more of, it would be more "pumping" moments, kind of like "Death of a King" and "Tree of Ages." There are definitely fast-paced moments here, but they don't excite me the same way much of Under the Red Cloud did. It's not as fun, but it does make for a more interesting and thoughtful listen. Still easily digestible, but even after over a dozen spins I feel like I can return again and appreciate something a little more.

0GuyMan0
May 22nd 2018


1226 Comments


Oh fuck this is out

BigPleb
May 22nd 2018


53896 Comments


Good rating and review, album is solid but lacks any sort of memorability.

Hawks
May 22nd 2018


56419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Disagreed hard Plebster.

BigPleb
May 22nd 2018


53896 Comments


I’ll stick to Silent Waters my man m/

Hawks
May 22nd 2018


56419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Silent Waters is best so yeah. m/

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2018


11071 Comments


Pleb, I trust that you've jammed Tales from the Thousand Lakes?

Digging: Battleroar - Codex Epicus

BigPleb
May 22nd 2018


53896 Comments


I'm ashamed to say, manos, that I haven't.

Silent Waters, Under the Red Cloud and this are the albums I've jammed.

Hawks
May 22nd 2018


56419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

WHAT

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2018


11071 Comments


No worries dude. Jam Tales and maybe it will become your favorite Amorphis. Not that those three you've jammed don't rule, but Tales has a variety and a very specific atmosphere that those albums kinda lack.

BigPleb
May 22nd 2018


53896 Comments


I want to jam Circle too purely cos of how cool that artwork is.

Hawks
May 22nd 2018


56419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tales rules, Circle rules, they all rule.

BigPleb
May 22nd 2018


53896 Comments


One of your fave bands?

Hawks
May 22nd 2018


56419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Easily. Check my ranked list bro. You might've already tbh but idk hahaha.

BigPleb
May 22nd 2018


53896 Comments


Finland rules.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2018


11071 Comments


These guys are so damn solid, definitely up there with the best '90s bands. Their run is so impressive, especially considering that many bands who started in the '90s were a product of their time.

Hawks
May 22nd 2018


56419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

These guys always stayed true to their roots too while adding tons of other influences. Big reason why I love them so much.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy